Saturday, July 19, 2003

I Rule in Favor of My Cultural Prejudices

Professor Matt Franck of Radford University gives an interesting review of this year’s end-of-term Supreme Court coverage. The stories written by Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times and Nina Totenberg of Morning Edition, demonstrate an unfortunate expression of an old trend – legal analysis by personality:

“From [the idea that there is no distinction between law and politics] it is a short step to believing that the reasons given by the justices for their rulings (or their dissents) are not really worth any scrutiny. For they are, after all, mere rationalizations for the underlying sentiments. Got kids in New York? Know some nice gay people? Then make the Constitution protect a right to commit sodomy, and then dress up the visceral conclusion with some high-sounding rhetoric about dignity. Feel put upon as a black conservative whom folks suspect of getting ahead on your race? Angry about it? Why then, fulminate about the ‘stigma’ of affirmative action, and manufacture some guff about the Constitution's ‘principle’ of equality to make your anger seem righteous.”


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